Sacramento Republic FC faced off against Austin Bold FC Wednesday night in a critical match for two sides battling for playoff positioning in the Western Conference. Coming into the match, Austin sat in fourth place with 40 points (11-9-7), while Sacramento sat in seventh place with 37 points (11-11-4). It was also the first of two matches this week for the Republic.
Republic FC Manager Simon Elliott would roll out the following starting XI:
The Republic would strike first in the 23rd minute after Drew Skundrich found Cameron Iwasa outside the Bold box. Iwasa quickly flicked it to the right to Thomas Enevoldsen who slotted it home for a 1-0 advantage, and with it, his fifth goal with the Republic. Iwasa was credited with the assist, which notably, tied him with Danny Barrera with 16 on the all-time club assist record.
Eight minutes later, the Republic would double their lead (31st minute) on a cross from Jordan McCrary that somehow slid through the entire Bold backline and landed right to an unmarked Dariusz Formella who easily tapped it in. Credit Formella for being in the right place at the right time. It was Formella’s first goal with the Republic and McCrary’s second assist in as many games.
Austin would pull one back minutes later when Kleber headed one home near the back post.
Bobby Shuttleworth made a tremendous save in the 45th minute to keep the Republic’s goal advantage in tack in the final moments of the first half.
In the 67th minute, Defender Matt Mahoney made a nice defensive play to maintain the Republic’s 2-1 advantage. Despite some other good chances for both sides over the remaining 20 plus minutes, the Quails would ultimately hold on and leave Austin with three critical points.
With the win, the Republic move to 12-11-4 (40 points) and into fourth place, while Austin drops to 11-10-7 (40 points) and into fifth place. The Republic now have won back-to-back games and quietly three of their last five. The win was so huge when you factor that it was on the road, against a team ahead of them in the table and with playoff implications on the line.
The Republic return home this Sunday to face Rio Grande Valley Toros FC at Papa Murphy’s Park. The match is scheduled to kickoff at 2pm.
Sacramento Republic FC: 2 goals, 7 shots, 4 shots on target, 41.8 possession, 9 corners, 2 offsides, 4 yellow cards.
Austin Bold FC: 1 goals, 24 shots, 5 shots on target, 58.2 possession, 7 corners, 1 offsides, 2 yellow cards.
Republic FC Lineup: Bobby Shuttleworth, Mitchell Taintor, Matt Mahoney, Dariusz Formella, Keven Aleman, Drew Skundrich, Juan Barahona, Thomas Enevoldsen, Jaime Villarreal, Jordan McCrary and Cameron Iwasa.
Republic FC Bench: Rafael Diaz, Haris Chantzopoulos, Hayden Partain, Sam Werner, Villyan Bijev, Dekel Keinan and Stefano Bonomo.